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Friday , November 27 , 2009
 
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Her father’s daughter
FROM the FLOORS
Trisha Ray and Soumitra Chatterjee play daughter and father on the sets of Bodhisattva; San Banarje looks through the camera.
Pictures by Aranya Sen

“Please bear with me. I am a weak artiste!” exclaims Soumitra Chatterjee, as he goes through his lines on the sets of Bodhisattva, Los Angeles-based independent director San Banarje’s Bengali film.

The veteran actor joined the young team of San and Trisha Ray once again after shooting for Trisha’s film Sugar Baby (where San was the cinematographer) in May.

“They were very nice to me when I shot for Sugar Baby. Besides, I am doing something off the beaten track. They have given me a role which is not unusual but complex. I play a very dark character.... San and Trisha know what they are doing. I have done over 350 films and in my 50 years as an actor, I have worked with many directors who didn’t even know what they were doing,” says Soumitra.

Bodhisattva is a thriller about Bodhisattva Chowdhury (Soumitra), who controls the life of his estranged daughter, Maya (played by Trisha).

“Maya suffers from Electra complex. She compares every man with her father and is even willing to commit a crime at his bidding,” says San, whose English film Money was screened at the 2007 Cannes film festival.

“When I came down to Calcutta to shoot Trisha’s Sugar Baby in May, I loved working in the city that I had left 14 years ago. I wanted to make a Bengali film and shoot with Soumitrada,” says the ex-student of Ashutosh College, after wrapping up his two-day shoot with Soumitra.

For Trisha, a grandniece of actress Karuna Banerjee, sharing reel time with Soumitra is a dream come true. “I play Soumitrada’s daughter and what more can I ask for! I play a girl who is obsessed with her dad. At one point, her father rules her mind and forces her to commit various crimes,” gushes Trisha, who drew inspiration from the films of her actress grandmother. “I watched Pather Panchali and Devi again to study her acting nuances. Before every shot I imagined how she would have done it.”

San plans to take Bodhisattva to the festivals before bringing it down to India. “We didn’t get a financier, so we are making it on our own. Our family members have chipped in,” says the Kasba resident.

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